Hello FRA Families,
We are excited to share the latest edition of our monthly Wellness Newsletter. Our goal is to support this community on and off campus, and one of those ways is to regularly provide you with helpful tidbits for every age and stage. We hope that you find these articles useful and relevant, aiding you with some of the guidance necessary to wade through the trials of doing life together. As always, we would love to hear how we can support you further, what topics you would like to learn more about, and any concerns you may have. We are here for you!
Your FRA Counseling Team
One Thing Parents Can Do To Strengthen The Relationship with Their Child
By Becky Mansfield
If you could add one thing to your day that would make your child feel loved and valued… would you do it? One thing to make your child feel important while also helping you connect with your child – no matter their age?
It all boils down to you giving them your attention. Learning to UNplug to plug in… sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Why is it so hard?
14 House Rules to Make Summer with Your Teens Less Stressful (and More Fun)
By: Raising Teens Today
I love summer! After months of keeping up with a rigid schedule, it’s exactly what my family needs to unwind and regroup before everything kicks into high gear again in the fall.
But as relaxing and chilled out as summer is with my kids, it also brings added stress having them home. Without our typical schedule to keep us “on track,” everyone is going in different directions and my kids tend to push a few boundaries in hopes that the chilled-out vibe of summer will apply to my rules as well.
To keep our home life running on an even keel, I have a few simple summertime house rules to make life far less chaotic and so much more fun! They’re not iron-fist rules… after all, it is summer – just a few guidelines I need my kids to follow to make life easier for them and me.
Seven Tips for Better Relationship Conversations
By Marc Lesser
My 33-year-old daughter and I were on a walk together through the hills of Missoula, Montana. It was a clear, cold, crisp afternoon. My wife and I were visiting her, her husband, and their two-year-old son in their new home after they had spent the previous year and a half living in our home in Northern California. As we walked along a trail just wide enough for us to be side by side, I had a strong feeling that my daughter had some residual feelings of anger toward me and her mother.
Several months earlier, during the time they were living with us, some serious miscommunication and misunderstandings had taken place. At that time, she had voiced that she was processing a lifetime of feelings, a lifetime of family dynamics she was frustrated with. At one point, she said she felt that her childhood role was to smooth out family difficulties to make it easier for her parents and her older brother.
Now, as an adult and the mother of a young child, she wanted to change this pattern. She was working to heal her painful feelings from the past and transform them to improve her own well-being and create healthier family relationships. We came to a place on the path that seemed like a natural stopping point. The views of snow-covered mountains were spectacular. As we stopped, I turned to her and asked, “How are we doing?”
I wanted to better understand what she was thinking and feeling. In particular, I wanted more clarity about gaps—the differences in her experience and mine—and how we might find more alignment in our relationship.
There can be gaps between how things actually are and how we want them to be in the closeness of our relationships with a partner, children, and parents. There can be subtle—or not-so-subtle—differences between our own experiences, emotions, and needs and the experiences, emotions, and needs of others. Sometimes it feels like our only choice is to give up and not do or say anything so we don’t make things worse. Is it any wonder when we let anxiety rule, stop truly listening to each other, and at best give our conditional commitment to a relationship?
There is another way, which is the practice I call “mind the gaps.” That means not avoiding gaps or the discomfort they cause; it entails being curious about them, dropping your stories, and listening more closely. Gaps and discomfort will appear, sooner or later—and there are skillful and effective ways to address them and improve our relationships.
Structure Summer Days to Keep Away the "I'm Bored" Blues
By Jennifer Hill
Who is over kids wanting to spend their time with electronics, playing video games, or watching TV? I know my hand is up. I totally get needing a few days to veg out and relax after the school year ends, but how can we keep it from taking over summer break?
I've found a solution that has worked wonders for my family! This summer we added some structure and routine to our 9- and 10-year-olds days so they know exactly what is expected of them before they have screen time and they don't need to constantly ask me what they should do next. Here's what works for us!
Tips and Tricks to Help Your Teen Fight Cell Phone Addiction
Written by parentingteensandtweens
Recently, a friend took in her 13-year-old niece for the summer because her parents fell on some rough times. At first, she gave the young teenager quite a bit of grace with her cell phone behavior. She recognized how overwhelming it must be to leave your home and temporarily move in with someone else.
She said nothing when the teen sat on the couch for hours, scrolling and scrolling. She didn’t pipe in when the young girl walked around the house with her nose in her phone. She tried not to scold her when she repeatedly said, “Wait just one minute,” so she could finish a text instead of responding to a question. Finally, when the girl tried to bring her phone to Sunday family dinner, my friend had enough. She told her niece to leave her phone at the counter for mealtime.
6 reasons children need to play outside
Here’s something really simple you can do to improve your child’s chance of future health and success: make sure he spends plenty of time playing outside.
There are many ways in which this generation’s childhood is different from that of the last generation, but one of the most abrupt contrasts is the degree to which it is being spent indoors. There are lots of reasons, including the marked increase in time spent interacting with electronic devices, the emphasis on scheduled activities and achievements, concerns about sun exposure — and, for many families, the lack of safe outdoor places to play. It’s not just children; adults are spending less time outdoors as well.